Underground Entrepreneurs in the Soviet Union

Activity Type: 
James Heinzen
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 14:00 to 15:30
Event Status: 
As Scheduled
4130 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Contact Person: 
Sera Passerini
Contact Email: 

Shortages, bottlenecks, and over-centralization in the Soviet economy made the distribution of goods uneven, limited, and, to some extent, non-existent. But it would be a mistake to see the Soviet economy as only a planned, top-down system. Interwoven within it were shadow economies with illegal schemes that the innovative and corrupt exploited. What do these shadow economies say about Soviet everyday life, informal networks, and corruption, and how did their proliferation reflect and shape the realities of Soviet socialism? This live interview with James Heinzen will explore these questions and more through the culture, practices and morays of underground entrepreneurs in the Soviet Union from the 1960s to the 1980s.

This event is part of the Socialism: Past, Present and Future Pop-Up Course.

UCIS Unit: 
Center for African Studies
Asian Studies Center
Center for Latin American Studies
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies
European Studies Center
Global Studies Center
Other Pitt Sponsors: 
Humanities Center
World History Center
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